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Exam Key Terms Review An in-depth review of the most prominent key terms and learnings from readings for the material covered after the midterm until the final exam.

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Organization Studies
ORGS 2010
Eleanor Westney

Key Terms, ORGS 2010 Task Forces A task force is a mini-organization that requires: o Clear understanding of the mandate (strategy), assignment of sub-tasks (grouping), effective communication and integration across sub-groups (linking) o Effective and regular communication with key stakeholders in the organization, voice of all members o Shared understanding of role of the task force, actions to foster shared identity and commitment e.g. subgroups that bridge faultlines Grouping and linking can be used to address the political and cultural aspects of the task force X-teams 5 distinctive qualities are: o External activities o Extensive ties o Expandable structures Core tier: usually present at the start of the team; carry the teams history and identity Operational tier: do the ongoing work Outer-net tier: specialized expertise, often join to handle a task that is separable from ongoing work o Flexible membership o Internal mechanisms for execution Integrative meetings: team members share the external info each has obtained Transparent decision making: keeps people informed about the choices behind decisions Scheduling tools Ambassadorial activity: aimed at managing upward (marketing the project and the team to the company power structure) (power structure) Task coordination: managing the lateral connections across functions and the interdependencies with other units (workflow structure) Scouting: lateral and downward searches through the org. to understand who has knowledge and expertise; investigating competitors, new technology, etc. (informational structure) X-teams are appropriate when one or more of three conditions hold true: o When organizational structure are flat, spread out systems with numerous alliances rather than multilevel, centralized hierarchies o When teams are dependent on information that is complex, externally dispersed and rapidly changing o When a teams task is interwoven with tasks undertaken outside the team Boundary Management The external relationships developed by the team are crucial to its actual and perceived effectiveness in the organization the need for teams to be externally oriented (the X-team) Challenges of boundary management: o Strategic design: Improving the flow of resources, work and information into and out of the team o Political: Identifying key stakeholders and their interests, power and influence Building coalitions with external stakeholders to further the teams interests o Cultural: Identifying the external expectations facing the team, and changing those that lower the teams chance for (perceived) success Faultlines Subgroups or coalitions that emerge naturally within teams, typically along various demographic lines Faultlines usually emerge under the pressure of a complex, time-dependent task Initial faultline formation is based on surface-level attributes o Usually in combination groups: age and gender, function and nationality, etc. o Strong faultlines emerge because team members fall into distinct, non-overlapping subgroups o in-group vs. out-group Deep-level attributes come into play at later stages of team development o Based on personal values and attitudes o Emerge more slowly Most important factor in determining whether destructive faultlines emerged was the extent to which the groups leader was task-oriented or relationship oriented o Task orientation: o The team leader uses a strong and consistent task-oriented leadership style o Can be done by creating a detailed project plan, building tight schedules, emphasizing performance goals that are high but realistic o Relationship orientation: o Places particular emphasis on the culture of the team and the relationships among team members, treating them with kindness and respect, encouraging trust and cooperation, providing recognitiono Task orientation switching to relationship orientation: o Begins with setting targets and scheduling work, then encouraging team members to collaborate with each other and work to increase trust and goodwill o Relationship orientation switching to task orientation: o Begins by creating a feeling of trust, emphasizing socialization and meetings, then setting clear goals and standards and monitoring the groups progress When team members socialize (relationship orientation), their differences become more apparent and the fractures in the team can solidify When leading diverse teams, leaders should: o Diagnose the probability of faultlines emerging Think carefully about the diversity of the team: faultlines are found in situations of moderate diversity o Focus on task orientation when a team is newly formed The more people interact with one another, the more likely they are to make snap judgments and emphasize differences Create energy around the task itself instead of making people socialize o Learn when to make the switch If
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